What are Structured Notes?

Structured notes are a type of investment that can offer higher returns than traditional investments, but they also come with more risks. Structured notes are created by banks and other financial institutions, and they are typically sold to investors through brokerages. The issuer of the note will bundle together different types of securities, such as stocks, bonds, and commodities, and then structure them in a way that offers potential for higher returns. For example, a bank might create a structured note that pays out if the stock market goes up by a certain percentage over the course of the year. The downside of investing in structured notes is that they are complex financial products, which means that investors may not fully understand the risks involved. Additionally, if the underlying securities perform poorly, investors could lose all of their money. In this article, we will cover the following topics: – What are structured notes? – How do structured notes work? – The advantages and disadvantages of investing in structured notes – Legal action you can take if you’ve been sold a structured note If you’re thinking about investing in a structured note, it’s important that you understand how these products work before making a decision. Keep reading to learn more. What are Structured Notes? Structured notes are investments that often combine securities of different asset classes as one investment for the desired risk and return over a period of time. They are complex investments that are often misunderstood by not only investors but the financial advisors who recommend them. Note: The lack of understanding around how these investments actually work and the fees charged to purchase them have resulted in many investors losing a great deal of money. If you find yourself in this situation, you should speak with a securities attorney about your legal options. Types of Structured Notes There are different types of structured notes, but they all have one goal in common: to give the investor a higher return than what they would get from a traditional investment, like a savings account or government bond. Structured notes can be created with different underlying assets, including stocks, bonds, commodities, and even currencies. The most common type of structured note is the principal protected note, which is designed to protect the investor’s original investment while still offering the potential for growth. Other types of structured notes include: Equity-linked structured notes: These structured notes earn returns (dividends) based on the performance of stocks. This can be an individual stock or a group of stocks. Commodity-linked structured notes: These notes are linked to an individual or group of commodity stocks. This includes commodities such as metals, livestock, and agricultural products. Currency-linked structured notes: These notes are linked to a currency, such as the US dollar, Euro, or Japanese Yen. The return on these notes is based on the movement of the currency. Interest rate-linked structured notes: These notes are linked to an interest rate, and returns are usually based on changes in that specific interest rate. Credit-linked structured notes: These notes are specific to the credit risks or events that organizations, such as companies, experience. How do Structured Notes Work? Structured notes are created by banks and other financial institutions. The issuer of the note will bundle together different types of securities, such as stocks, bonds, and commodities. The way these assets are bundled together will create the desired risk and return for the investor over a period of time. All structured notes have two parts: a bond component and a derivative component. Most of the note is invested in bonds for principal protection, with the rest allocated to a derivative product for upside potential. The derivative product investment allows exposure to any asset class. It’s important to remember that a structured note is a debt obligation. The issuer of the structured note typically pays interest or dividends to the investor, similar to a bond, during the terms of the notes. This makes this type of investment seem safe and secure to many investors. However, there is always the potential for loss with a structured note. Structured notes suffer from a higher degree of interest rate risk, market risk, and liquidity risk than their underlying debt obligations and derivatives. If the issuer of the note defaults, the entire value of the investment could be lost. This means that if the issuing bank were to go bankrupt, investors could lose their entire investment. The Advantages of Investing in Structured Notes The versatility of structured notes allows them to provide a wide range of potentially lucrative outcomes that are difficult to come by elsewhere. Structured notes typically offer investors returns that are higher than the interest rates offered on traditional deposits. They may even offer the potential for capital appreciation. However, such gains or capital gains are subject to the performance of the underlying reference asset(s) or benchmark(s), which exposes investors to a wider range of risks than with a traditional deposit. IMPORTANT: Structured notes are often considered too risky and complicated for the individual investor. Unfortunately, the promise of greater commissions in recent years has prompted stockbrokers to push structured notes on investors, including those for whom they were unsuitable, too dangerous, or just not in line with their objectives. Related Read: Can I Sue My Financial Advisor For Structured Note Investment Losses? The Disadvantages of Investing in Structured Notes Investing in structured notes may not be suitable for everyone. The main reason is that they are complex products that are often misunderstood. A vast majority of structured notes are not principal-guaranteed. You may lose all or a substantial amount of the money you invested in certain situations, including if the reference asset or benchmark performs poorly, interest rates rise, or the issuer of the note defaults as outlined by the terms of the product. The principal repayments or the dividends payable, or both may be linked to the performance of a referenced asset, which is often highly volatile. As a result, if the referenced asset underperforms, you may suffer the loss of dividend payments...

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Insider Trading: Definition, Rules, and Penalties

Using insider information to make investment decisions on the stock market is illegal and can lead to serious financial penalties. This type of investment fraud is commonly referred to as insider trading. In this article, we will cover the definition of insider trading, how it is detected and prosecuted when insider trading is illegal, and the potential penalties that a person may face if convicted. What is insider trading? Insider trading is the practice of trading a company’s stocks or other securities by an individual to one’s own advantage through having access to confidential or non-public information. Need Legal Help? Let’s talk. or, give us a ring at 561-338-0037. For example, if a company insider tells his or her friend about an upcoming merger that has not been made public, both the company insider and the friend could be held liable for insider trading if the friend buys the stock. IMPORTANT: The definition of an “insider” for insider trading purposes is far broader than most people realize. While it includes corporate officers and directors, it also covers employees at lower levels, friends and family members, and other persons who have access to nonpublic information. Who is an “insider”? An “insider” is anyone who is an officer, director, 10% stockholder or has access to inside information as a result of his or her relationship with the Company or an officer, director, or principal stockholder of the Company. According to SEC Rule 10b-5, the definition of an “insider” goes considerably beyond these key company personnel. In fact, this rule also covers ANY employee who has access to confidential information as part of his or her job duties. In addition, if ANY person outside of the company has received a “tip” from an “insider” about the material, nonpublic information, that person would also be considered an “insider” under this rule. Lastly, Rule 10b-5 also covers any family members or close friends of an “insider.” For example, if the CEO of a company tells his son about an upcoming merger, and the son then buys stock in the company before the merger is public knowledge, both the CEO and his son would be considered “insiders” under this rule. Who can be charged with insider trading? An individual is liable for insider trading when they have acted on privileged knowledge or confidential information that is not available to the general public to attempt to make a quick/easy profit. This may include using information about: Upcoming mergers or acquisitions; Unreleased financial reports; New product releases; Changes in company leadership; and any other information that could give an individual an unfair advantage in the marketplace. Identifying insider threats might be simple at times: CEOs, executives, and directors are immediately exposed to important information before it’s made public. However, lower-level employees may also have access to this type of information, which means that anyone from an entry-level analyst to a janitor could be susceptible to committing insider trading. Note: If you are under investigation or have been charged with insider trading, it is important to seek legal counsel immediately. An experienced SEC defense attorney can help you understand the charges against you and build a strong defense. How is insider trading detected? Both companies and regulators try to prevent insider trading to ensure the integrity of a fair marketplace. Despite what you may have read before, not all insider trading is illegal. Directors, workers, and management of a corporation may buy or sell the company’s stock with special knowledge as long as they notify the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about those transactions; these trades are then made public. Unfortunately, not all insider trading is this transparent. Illegal insider trading happens when people use confidential information to make profits in the stock market. The SEC investigates and prosecutes these cases as they are a form of securities fraud. Here are a few of the ways that the SEC detects insider trading: Monitoring Trading Activity The government tracks stocks that are being bought and sold to look for patterns that may be indicative of insider trading. The SEC monitors trading activity, especially around the time when significant events happen, such as a major announcement or earnings release. This practice of surveillance can lead to the discovery of large, irregular trades around the time of these events. The SEC may then investigate the people behind those trades to see if they had access to nonpublic information. Complaints From The Public The SEC also relies on tips from the public to help detect insider trading. When the SEC receives a large number of complaints from investors who lose substantial sums of money around the same time, it can be an indication that insider trading has taken place. Since the insider trader has special knowledge, they can leverage investment tactics like options trading on the company’s stock to make a lot of money in a short period. When this occurs, it can lead to other investors losing money and filing complaints with the SEC. Whistleblowers The SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower was created in 2011 to reward people who come forward with information about securities law violations, including insider trading. The SEC gets tips from whistleblowers who come forward with information about potential violations. Whistleblowers can be current or former employees, lawyers, accountants, or anyone else with knowledge of insider trading. Whistleblowers have incentives to come forward, as they may be eligible for a portion of the money recovered by the SEC. The maximum award is 30% of the amount recovered, and it can be higher if the SEC takes action based on the information provided. Which regulatory agencies are involved in investigating insider trading? The SEC is the primary federal regulator that investigates and prosecutes cases of insider trading. The agency has a division, called the Division of Enforcement, which is responsible for bringing enforcement actions against individuals and companies who violate securities laws. The Department of Justice (DOJ) also plays a role in investigating and prosecuting insider trading cases. The DOJ can bring criminal charges against individuals...

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Can You Sue a Brokerage Firm for Investment Losses?

If you have experienced significant investment losses, you may be wondering if you can sue your brokerage firm. Can You Sue a Brokerage Firm? Yes, you can sue a brokerage firm to help recover any investment losses that you have suffered due to a broker’s negligence or fraud. Lawsuits are typically filed against brokerage firms rather than individual brokers because the firm is vicariously (automatically) liable for the actions of all their employees. Need Legal Help? Let’s talk. or, give us a ring at 561-338-0037. In addition, brokerage firms are directly responsible for supervising its employees and ensuring that they are adhering to industry regulations and can be held liable for their supervisory failures. FINRA rules require a brokerage firm to establish policies and procedures that monitor brokers’ activities in order to avoid investor losses and investment fraud. As such, if the brokerage firm has failed to supervise its employees properly and this has led to your investment losses, you may have a claim against the firm. IMPORTANT: Filing a successful lawsuit against a brokerage firm is a complex undertaking. You will need to prove that the firm did not properly supervise its employees and that this failure led to your investment losses. If you decide to pursue legal action, it is important to consult with an experienced securities lawyer who can help you navigate the process and build a strong case against the firm. When Can a Brokerage Firm be Held Liable for Investment Losses? Despite having issues with an individual broker, many investors are surprised to learn that lawsuits against an individual are actually quite rare. The vast majority of lawsuits that are filed in connection with investment losses are brought against the brokerage firm that employed the broker. A brokerage firm is required to properly supervise its employees and to ensure that they are adhering to FINRA rules and regulations. If the firm fails to do so and this results in investors suffering losses, the firm can be held liable. It’s unfortunately common for independent brokerage firms to hire under-qualified brokers with little to no experience in the industry. These brokers are often given very little training and are left to their own devices when it comes to handling clients’ investments. As a result, these inexperienced brokers can make serious mistakes that cost investors a lot of money. Due to the fact that brokerage firms are required to properly supervise their employees, the liability for investment losses often falls on the brokerage firm that hired the broker rather than the individual broker him or herself. In addition, under Section 20(a) of the Securities and Exchange Act, a brokerage firm can be held liable for the negligence of its individual brokers and advisors. In essence, the law tends to hold the brokerage firm liable for the misconduct of its employees unless the brokerage firm acted in good faith and did not indirectly cause the misconduct which has resulted in the investors’ losses. Note: The process of establishing liability against a brokerage firm is complex and it can be difficult to prove that the firm is responsible for your investment losses. It is in the best interest of the brokerage firm to avoid liability, so they will likely have a team of lawyers working to protect them. As such, if you decide to pursue legal action against a brokerage firm, it is important to consult with an experienced securities lawyer who can help you navigate the process and build a strong case against the firm. The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce P.A. has over 40 years of experience representing those who have been wronged by a fiduciary and have recovered over $160 million in investment losses for our clients. If you believe that you have been the victim of broker or brokerage firm misconduct, we can help. Contact us today for a free consultation. When Does the Liability Fall on the Individual Broker? There are many circumstances where the liability for investment losses may fall on the individual broker. For example, if a broker makes material misstatements or omissions about an investment, the broker can be held liable for any losses that result from those misrepresentations. Additionally, if a broker engages in fraudulent or illegal activity, the broker can be held liable for any losses that occur. All brokers and financial advisors are required to adhere to a strict code of ethics and owe their clients a fiduciary duty. A fiduciary duty is a legal obligation to act in the best interest of the client. If a broker breaches this duty and causes the client to lose money, the broker can be held liable. There are a wide variety of circumstances where a broker may breach their fiduciary duty to a client. For a more complete discussion on when the liability for investment losses falls on the individual broker, please see our article on “How to Sue a Financial Advisor or Stockbroker Over Investment Losses.” Have You Suffered Investment Losses? Take Legal Action Today. If you have suffered investment losses, you may be able to take legal action against the brokerage firm or individual broker responsible for your losses. The first step is to consult with an experienced securities lawyer to discuss your case and determine what legal options are available to you. The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce P.A. has over 40 years of experience representing those who have been wronged by a fiduciary and have recovered over $160 million in investment losses for our clients. If you believe that you have been the victim of broker or brokerage firm misconduct, we can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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What is the Difference Between Solicited & Unsolicited Trades?

Ideally, hiring a skilled broker takes some of the risk out of investing. Unfortunately, however, some brokers fail to act with the appropriate level of integrity. As an investor, it’s very important to understand the difference between solicited and unsolicited trades. The distinction has significant consequences on your ability to recover losses from a bad trade. What’s the Difference Between a Solicited and an Unsolicited Trade? The main difference between a solicited and unsolicited trade is: a solicited trade is a transaction that the broker recommends to the client. In contrast, an unsolicited transaction is one that the investor initially proposed to the broker. Need Legal Help? Let’s talk. or, give us a ring at 561-338-0037. In regards to solicited trades, the broker is ultimately responsible for the consideration and execution of the trade because he or she brought it to the investor’s attention. The responsibility for unsolicited trades therefore lies primarily with the investor, while the broker merely facilitates the investor’s proposed transaction. Why does the Difference Between an Unsolicited and Socilited Trade Matters? The status of a trade as solicited or unsolicited is hugely important when an investor claims unsuitability. An investor who wants to recover losses may be able to do so if the broker is the one who initially suggests the transaction. Take the following example. You purchase $150,000 of stock in a new company. Shortly after the trade is complete, the stock loses nearly all its original value. As an investor, you will want to recover as much of that loss as possible. One way is to file a claim against your broker on the basis that the stock was an unsuitable investment. When you say that an investment was unsuitable, you are essentially saying that based on the information your broker had about you as an investor, the broker should not have made the trade in the first place. If the stock purchase was at your request—that is, it was unsolicited—then it’s unlikely you’d be able to hold your broker liable for your losses. After all, the trade was originally your idea.  IMPORTANT: If the stock was suggested to you as a good investment by your broker, however, then you may have an argument that you were pushed into a solicited trade that was not in your best interests. If this is the case, you would have a much stronger argument for holding your broker liable. What Is Suitability? The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) imposes rules on registered brokers to protect investors against broker misconduct. Under FINRA Rule 2111, brokers are generally required to engage in trades only if the broker has “a reasonable basis to believe that the recommended transaction or investment strategy involving a security or securities is suitable for the customer.” Whether an investment is suitable depends on diligent consideration of several aspects of a client’s investment profile, including: The investor’s age; Other investments, if any; The investor’s financial situation and tax status; The investor’s individual investment objectives; The level of investing experience or sophistication of the investor; The investor’s risk tolerance; and Other relevant information the investor discloses to their broker. When a broker makes a trade without a reasonable basis for believing that the trade is suitable, the broker violates FINRA Rule 2111. Investors may then be able to recover losses from the broker, and FINRA may impose sanctions, suspension, or other penalties on the broker. Broker Obligations to Their Clients When a broker conducts a trade on behalf of an investor, the broker uses an order ticket with the details of the trade. Brokers mark these tickets as “solicited” or “unsolicited” to reflect the status of the trade. For the reasons explained above, this marking is very important. On one hand, it protects a broker from unsuitability claims following a trade suggested by the broker’s client. On the other, it provides an avenue to recover losses in the case of a solicited trade that turns out poorly. FINRA Rule 2010 covers properly marking trade tickets. This rule requires brokers to observe “high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade” in their practice. If a broker fails to properly mark a trade ticket, that broker violates Rule 2010. As an investor, you should always receive a confirmation of any trades your broker conducts on your account.  FINRA has found that abuse of authority by mismarking tickets is an issue within the securities industry. The 2018 report found that brokers sometimes mismarked tickets as “unsolicited” to hide trading activity on discretionary accounts. If your broker feels the need to hide a trade from you, that trade is likely unsuitable. How to Protect Yourself Against Trade Ticket Mismarking Whether your account is discretionary or non-discretionary, and whether you’re new to investing or a skilled tycoon, you should always pay close attention to your investment accounts. Carefully review your trade confirmations to make sure that all trades are properly marked. If you find a mistake, immediately report it to your broker or the compliance department of their brokerage firm. It’s their job to correct these mistakes and make sure they don’t happen in the future. Negative or suspicious responses to a legitimate correction request are red flags that should not be ignored. If you discover your broker intentionally mismarking your trade tickets, contact an investment fraud attorney immediately. Concerned About a Solicited Trade? The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., have been helping investors recover losses for over 40 years. We have extensive experience representing investors and have helped our clients recover over $160 million in total. If you’ve become the victim of unsuitable or fraudulent investing, we can help you. Contact us today or give us a call at 561-338-0037 for a free consultation.

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Everything You Need to Know about an SEC Wells Notice

If you’ve received a Wells Notice from the SEC, it’s important to understand what it is and how to respond. What is a Wells Notice? A Wells Notice is usually a formal letter (sometimes just a telephone call) in which the staff enforcement attorneys of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) notify individuals and/or firms that they are planning to recommend that the SEC authorize the attorneys to bring an enforcement action against the individual and/or the firm.  Investment Losses? Let’s talk. or, give us a ring at 800-732-2889. A Wells Notice will typically set forth the specific allegations against the individual and/or firm, as well as provide an opportunity for a response before the SEC makes a final decision on whether to bring charges. After an SEC investigation has turned up evidence of potential securities law infractions, the staff enforcement attorneys will usually provide a Wells Notice but, not always! Note: If you have received a Wells Notice, it means the SEC enforcement attorneys believe you have been violating securities laws and regulations, it is not a finding of guilt. It is important that you act quickly and consult with an experienced securities defense attorney to protect your rights and interests. What information is contained in a Wells Notice? A Wells Notice from the SEC will usually contain the following information: Identify the specific charges against the individual or firm that the SEC Enforcement Division is considering; Notify the recipient of the Wells Notice the opportunity to provide a written or videotape voluntary statement defending their actions (which may or may not include arguments why the Commission should not bring an action or why proposed charges or remedies should not be pursued, or bring any relevant facts to the Commission’s attention in connection with its consideration of the matter); Provide a reasonable time period for the recipient to prepare and submit their response; Advise the recipient that any submission should be addressed to the appropriate Assistant Director; Inform the recipient of the Wells notice that their Wells submission may be used by the Commission in any action or enforcement proceeding; An attached copy of the Wells Release; and An attached copy of the SEC’s Form 1662. The majority of what appears in a written Wells notice is boilerplate. Typically, the written notice details statutory and regulatory infractions under consideration but does not allude to the specifics of the specific case. Are public companies required to disclose a Wells Notice? A Wells notice is a private communication to the recipient, and the Commission will not disclose it. In the past, many companies elected to not make any public disclosure of a Wells Notice. However, in recent years, some companies have voluntarily disclosed the receipt of a Wells Notice in their public filings with the SEC. Generally, such disclosures are a discretionary choice, rather than a requirement. The decision turns on whether the investigation and potential consequences would be a material fact that needs to be disclosed in light of other statements being publicly made by the company. Are registered broker-dealers and investment advisors required to disclose a Wells Notice? Yes, if you are a registered broker-dealer or investment advisor, you will be required to disclose the receipt of a Wells Notice in your Form U4. Related Reads: SEC Subpoenas: How to Respond How to Respond to a Wells Notice If you’ve received a Wells Notice, the first thing you should do is consult with an experienced securities defense attorney. Your attorney will help you understand the specific allegations against you and decide whether you should respond at all. If so, the attorney will craft a strategic and customized response on your behalf. Your response to a Wells Notice (also known as a Wells Submission) will be incredibly important in determining whether or not the SEC takes enforcement action against you. In some cases, a well-crafted response may convince the SEC to drop the matter entirely. In other cases, it may result in a more lenient punishment if the SEC does decide to bring charges. Before responding to a Wells Notice, you and your attorney will need to carefully review all of the evidence collected during the SEC’s investigation. This may include: Understanding the specific charges the SEC Enforcement Division is considering filing against you The limitations established for the Wells notice disclosure The deadline for submitting your Wells Notice disclosure to the SEC Once the analysis of the evidence is complete, your attorney will work with you to prepare a persuasive response that addresses the SEC’s specific concerns. This is a very important step as a Wells Submission presents the facts and the first arguments to persuade the SEC Enforcement Division to not pursue an enforcement action or to recommend a less severe action. The SEC will review the response and make a final determination on whether or not to bring charges. Even though the Wells Notice process is confidential, it may become public if the SEC decides to bring an enforcement action against you. More important, whatever is written in the response to the Wells notice could be deemed an admission of the facts stated within the Wells Notice. What Happens if the SEC decides to bring Charges? If the SEC decides to bring charges after you’ve received a Wells Notice, it will file a formal complaint against you in federal court or administrative proceeding. At this point, you will have an opportunity to defend yourself against the SEC’s charges. This is a complex process, and you will need to have an experienced securities defense attorney by your side to protect your rights and help you navigate the legal system. A Wells Notice is just the beginning of the SEC’s enforcement process, but it’s a very important step. If you’ve received a Wells Notice, make sure you consult with an experienced SEC defense attorney as soon as possible to ensure the best possible outcome in your case. Consider Consulting with an Experienced SEC Defense Attorney If you’ve received a Wells Notice, you should consult with an experienced...

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What to Do When a Financial Advisor Steals Money From You

Financial advisors are highly trusted professionals who help make decisions that impact your economic future. When that trust is broken through a bad or negligent act, the investor suffers and the financial advisor must be held accountable. When you’re looking at your investment losses, in the worst-case scenario, you may be asking yourself if a financial advisor can steal your money. Can Financial Advisors Steal Your Money? Yes, an unethical financial advisor can be in a position to steal money from you, especially if you have given them direct access to your money. Because of this, a vast majority of reputable financial advisors never take ownership of your money to protect your best financial interests. Need Legal Help? Let’s talk. or, give us a ring at 561-338-0037. It is recommended that you always keep control over your investments and never give any financial advisor full discretion over your accounts. Giving an advisor direct access allows them to steal money with ease. Avoid doing so unless you’re 100% confident in the individual you’re dealing with. Note: If you believe your financial advisor stole your money, there are several options for you to recover. We recommend speaking with an experienced investment fraud lawyer to learn more about your rights and how you may recover your losses. The Fiduciary Duty of a Financial Advisor All financial advisors are held to a standard of care when dealing with investors. Registered financial advisors have a higher fiduciary duty to their clients under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. This is the highest legal standard of care and requires financial advisors to act in the best interest of their clients, make suitable investments, and disclose relevant information to you.  Knowing whether your financial advisor is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or a state securities regulator is important because if the advisor breaches the fiduciary duty, you can bring a claim against the financial advisor through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). FINRA is the governing organization that creates and enforces rules for advisors and their firms and assists in resolving disputes between advisors and investors.  Do You Have a Claim? If your financial advisor outright stole money from your account, this is theft. These cases involve an intentional act by your financial advisor, such as transferring money out of your account. However, your financial advisor could also be stealing from you if their actions or failure to act causes you financial loss.   Losing money through investment is not enough to bring a claim against your financial advisor. Remember, there is no guarantee of return when investing. Even if your financial advisor made the recommendation, under federal securities law and FINRA regulations, you cannot hold your advisor liable simply because they lost you money. You need a viable cause of action, such as a breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, or malpractice. Types of Claims Against Your Financial Advisor  Understanding securities law and FINRA regulations are crucial to know whether you have a valid claim against your financial advisor. The investment loss recovery attorneys at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce P.A. have over 40 years of experience in securities and investment law. They have helped countless investors recover their financial losses caused by bad or negligent acts by their financial advisors. The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce P.A. have handled hundreds of cases involving many types of misconduct by financial advisors. Negligence In a negligence claim, you do not need to show that the financial advisor intentionally acted in a harmful way, but rather that the advisor failed to do something they had an obligation to do and caused the economic loss. For example, your advisor may have made an unsuitable investment by failing to take into consideration your risk tolerance. If you lost money based on the recommended investment, it may be appropriate to file a claim for negligence against your financial advisor.  Breach of Fiduciary Duty A financial advisor who breaches his fiduciary duty has failed to meet the required standard of care. You may have a valid claim for breach of fiduciary duty if your advisor failed to execute your stated objectives or did not disclose information about a product. Other examples of breaching the fiduciary duty include: Unauthorized trading, Unsuitable investments,  Undiversified portfolio, and  Account churning.  In each of these instances, the financial advisor did not act in your best interest.  Failure to Supervise A brokerage firm is responsible for supervising the actions of its financial advisors and any other employees. If the firm fails to do this, it can be held liable for your financial losses.  What You Can Do There are several stages of resolution to recover your financial losses. Depending on the facts of your case, you may be able to resolve it and recover without any formal proceedings, or you may have to litigate. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce P.A. have helped investors in all stages and have successfully recovered over $160 million in losses for our clients.  Review Customer Agreement If you believe your financial advisor stole money from you, either directly or indirectly through losses in your account, you should first review your customer agreement. Understand what sort of authority you gave your financial advisor and if there is a mandatory arbitration clause. This clause is common in most customer agreements with brokerage firms. These clauses often state that you waive your right to file a lawsuit against your advisor and agree to engage in a FINRA arbitration proceeding instead.  Informal Dispute Resolution Claims against financial advisors are incredibly complex legal matters. There are informal options available, however. Even at this stage, you should contact an investor loss recovery attorney for assistance. FINRA, which regulates the investment industry, instructs investors to first pursue informal dispute resolutions before filing a claim against their financial advisor.  Depending on the severity of the financial advisor’s misconduct, you may be able to resolve the matter directly with your advisor or...

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Can I Recover My GWG L Bonds Investment Losses?

In recent news, it was reported that GWG Holdings, a Dallas, Texas-based asset manager that provides insurance services, as well as acquires life insurance policies in the secondary market, filed for bankruptcy on April 20, 2022. It is estimated that GWG Holdings has more than $2 billion in liabilities, including $1.3 billion of GWG L bonds, and has missed millions of dollars in combined interest and principal payments to investors owning the GWG L bond series. IMPORTANT: As of February 2022, GWG Holdings has failed to pay $13.6 million in payments to GWG L bondholders. These were high yield, high risk, illiquid investments that as stockbrokers should have been wary and not recommended to investors with conversative or moderate risk tolerances. The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. is currently investigating claims against stockbrokers related to recommendations to purchase GWG Holdings L bonds (“GWG L bonds”) and is offering free consultations to those who have suffered GWG L bond losses. If you have suffered GWG L bond investment losses, our experienced securities litigation attorneys are prepared to discuss the matter and provide their legal opinion as to whether you can recover damages against the broker-dealer who recommended and sold you GWG L bonds. Please contact our law firm at 561-338-0037 or online for a free consultation. What are GWG L Bonds? In 2012, GWG Holdings created and has since sold nearly $2 billion in GWG L bonds to investors. These high-yield bonds were unrated and illiquid investments and therefore, unsuitable for investors with conservative or moderate risk tolerances. Need Legal Help? Let’s talk. or, give us a ring at 561-338-0037. GWG Holdings issued the GWG L bonds to raise capital to purchase an individual life insurance policyholder seeking liquidity or cash by selling his/her life insurance policy to GWG Holdings for more than the surrender value but substantially less than the policy’s face value. GWG Holdings would then make the premium payments and hope to receive a payout worth greater than what it paid for the policy after the original policy matures or the policyholder passes away. The subject GWG L bonds were created to finance these life insurance policy purchases by GWG Holdings.  The problem for investors was the GWG L bond investments depended on insurance policy premiums and benefits being paid out according to assumptions and statistical models, thus making them speculative investments for investors seeking income and protection of their capital. Further, GWG L bonds had no secondary market, which prevented investors from liquidating should they need the cash immediately. In other words, money used to purchase GWG L bonds was essentially trapped from the moment of purchase. Moreover, the only collateral supposedly backing GWG Holdings are interests in GWG subsidiary companies that purportedly owned real assets, including the insurance policies. Don’t Be Discouraged by GWG Holdings’ Bankruptcy  As early as April 2022, news sources reported that GWG Holdings was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. However, this news should not stop investors from seeking the opinion of a skilled and experienced securities attorney and getting just compensation. Broker-dealers and their agents who misrepresented and/or made unsuitable recommendations as to the GWG L bonds may still be held liable for losses in investor accounts. In other words, an account holder can still file a FINRA arbitration against the broker-dealer to recover losses in GWG L bonds for misrepresentations, unsuitable recommendations, failure to conduct adequate due diligence, negligence, etc. You should not let your broker-dealer or broker/financial advisor convince you otherwise. Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. Recovers Investment Losses The attorneys at Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. are experienced in litigating high-yield and speculative fixed-income instrument securities loss cases. For over 40 years we have represented investors in arbitration and securities litigation matters, including FINRA arbitration proceedings in nearly every state. Contact us now at 561-338-0037 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.  GWB L Bonds Were Sold for High Commissions! According to GWG Holdings, the GWG L bonds were sold by Emerson Equity, the managing broker-dealer, which partnered with other brokerage firms that also sold the L bonds to their retail customers. The commissions on such sales by the brokerage firms were as high as 8%. The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. suspects that many other broker-dealers were involved in the recommendation and sale of the GWG L bonds to their customers. Some of the firms alleged to have sold L bonds to their customers include: Aegis Capital Ages Financial Services Allied Beacon Partners American Trust Investment Services Arete Wealth Management Ausdal Financial Planers Cabot Lodge Securities Capital Investment Group Centaurus Financial, Inc. Center Street Securities Coastal Equities Dempsey Lord Smith Emerson Equity Great Point Capital IFP Securities International Assets Advisory Intervest International Equities Corporation Kingswood Capital Partners Landolt Securities Lifemark Securities Lion Street Financial Malone Securities Moloney Securities M Stevens Securities National Securities National Securities Corporation Newbridge Securities NI Advisors (Stiba Wealth Management) Strategic Financial Partners SW Financial The Fig Group Titan Securities TRL Capital Corporation Western international securities, Inc. Westmark Capital If the name of your broker-dealer does not appear on the list above, do not be alarmed. Rather, call us at 561-338–0037 or contact us online for free consultation to discuss whether you may have a claim to recover damages. Recover Your GWG L Bond Investment Losses in a FINRA Arbitration The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. is prepared to help investors who have sustained damages or monetary losses not only in GWG L bonds but other investments in your account in FINRA arbitration. If you were one of those investors who have suffered losses, you should seek the immediate advice of an experienced investment fraud attorney with more than 40 years of experience representing investors in investment fraud and broker-dealer negligence cases. It is imperative that you seek our consultation as soon as possible, as there are applicable eligibility rule and/or statutes of limitation that may forever bar your claim against the broker-dealer who...

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